Moodys.com
Please Note
We brought you to this page based on your search query. If this isn't what you are looking for, you can continue to Search Results for ""
The maximum number of items you can export is 3,000. Please reduce your list by using the filtering tool to the left.
Close
Close
Email Research
Recipient email addresses will not be used in mailing lists or redistributed.
Recipient's
Email

Use semicolon to separate each address, limit to 20 addresses.
Enter the
characters you see
Close
Email Research
Thank you for your interest in sharing Moody's Research. You have reached the daily limit of Research email sharings.
Close
Thank you!
You have successfully sent the research.
Please note: some research requires a paid subscription in order to access.
Already a customer?
LOG IN
Don't want to see this again?
REGISTER
OR
Accept our Terms of Use to continue to Moodys.com:

PLEASE READ AND SCROLL DOWN!

 

By clicking “I AGREE” [at the end of this document], you indicate that you understand and intend these terms and conditions to be the legal equivalent of a signed, written contract and equally binding, and that you accept such terms and conditions as a condition of viewing any and all Moody’s inform​ation that becomes accessible to you [after clicking “I AGREE”] (the “Information”).   References herein to “Moody’s” include Moody’s Corporation, Inc. and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates.

 

Terms of One-Time Website Use

 

1.            Unless you have entered into an express written contract with Moody’s to the contrary, you agree that you have no right to use the Information in a commercial or public setting and no right to copy it, save it, print it, sell it, or publish or distribute any portion of it in any form.               

 

2.            You acknowledge and agree that Moody’s credit ratings: (i) are current opinions of the future relative creditworthiness of securities and address no other risk; and (ii) are not statements of current or historical fact or recommendations to purchase, hold or sell particular securities.  Moody’s credit ratings and publications are not intended for retail investors, and it would be reckless and inappropriate for retail investors to use Moody’s credit ratings and publications when making an investment decision.  No warranty, express or implied, as the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose of any Moody’s credit rating is given or made by Moody’s in any form whatsoever.          

 

3.            To the extent permitted by law, Moody’s and its directors, officers, employees, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for: (i) any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with use of the Information; and (ii) any direct or compensatory damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud or any other type of liability that by law cannot be excluded) on the part of Moody’s or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with use of the Information.

 

4.            You agree to read [and be bound by] the more detailed disclosures regarding Moody’s ratings and the limitations of Moody’s liability included in the Information.     

 

5.            You agree that any disputes relating to this agreement or your use of the Information, whether sounding in contract, tort, statute or otherwise, shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York and shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the State of New York located in the City and County of New York, Borough of Manhattan.​​​

I AGREE
Rating Action:

Moody's confirms Zep's Caa1 CFR, upgrades credit facility ratings; outlook is stable

01 Dec 2021

New York, December 01, 2021 -- Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") confirmed Zep Inc.'s ("Zep") Caa1 Corporate Family Rating ("CFR") and Caa1-PD Probability of Default Rating. Moody's also upgraded Zep's first lien senior secured revolving credit facility and term loan ratings to B2 from B3, and the second lien term loan rating to Caa2 from Caa3. The actions conclude the review for upgrade initiated on September 30, 2021. The rating outlook is stable.

Moody's originally placed Zep's ratings under review for upgrade on September 30, 2021 based on the expectation that the Zep Vehicle Care (ZVC) divestiture would result in meaningful cash proceeds to Zep and that the company would use the bulk of the net proceeds for debt repayment. Following the completion of the ZVC divestiture, the company used the vast majority of the $371 million net sale proceeds to repay the first lien term loan and a small amount of the second lien term loan.

Moody's confirmed the Caa1 CFR because following the ZVC sale, the company's debt-to-EBITDA is expected to remain above 7x through fiscal year 2022. The divestiture of the higher growth ZVC business reduced the scale and diversification of the remaining Zep business. Moreover, the decline in disinfectant products sales across the retail and industrial end markets are expected to continue and raw material cost inflation will continue to pressure Zep's earnings and cash flow generation over the next six to 12 months. These factors will sustain high leverage and weak free cash flow notwithstanding the credit benefits of the divestiture including material debt reduction and improved liquidity, and despite the company's growth and cost mitigation strategies.

Moody's upgraded both the first lien credit facilities and second lien term loan by one notch as the recovery prospects for both the first lien and second lien debt under a reorganization scenario have improved because of the material reduction in first lien debt in the capital structure.

The following ratings are affected by today's action:

Confirmations:

..Issuer: Zep Inc.

.... Corporate Family Rating, Confirmed at Caa1

.... Probability of Default Rating, Confirmed at Caa1-PD

Upgrades:

....Senior Secured First Lien Revolving Credit Facility, Upgraded to B2 (LGD2) from B3 (LGD3)

....Senior Secured First Lien Term Loan, Upgraded to B2 (LGD2) from B3 (LGD3)

....Senior Secured Second Lien Term Loan, Upgraded to Caa2 (LGD5) from Caa3 (LGD5)

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Zep Inc.

....Outlook, Changed To Stable From Rating Under Review

RATINGS RATIONALE

Zep's Caa1 CFR reflects its high debt-to-EBITDA leverage of 8.8x (Moody's estimate including standard adjustments) as of the LTM period ended August 31, 2021 and pro forma for the ZVC divestiture and debt repayment, as well as the company's small scale low to negative free cash flow, and exposure to volatile raw material costs. The company's private equity ownership and aggressive financial policies also constrain its credit profile. The company's ratings benefit from good product and end market diversity, and long-term relationships with top customers. Zep benefitted from an increase in sales of its industrial disinfectant products at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, sales have declined in the last two quarters as Zep's industrial customers have reduced their orders and retailers and distributors continue to reduce high levels of disinfectant inventories. Free cash flow also remains weak despite the strong product demand with drag from investment in capacity expansion and working capital. Moody's expects Zep's sales and EBITDA to decline in the next few quarters because of these headwinds as well as rising input costs, but for EBITDA to increase overall in the fiscal year ended August 2022 through growth initiatives, price increases and cost efficiency initiatives. Moody's projects roughly break even free cash flow and a reduction in debt to EBITDA below 8x in fiscal 2022.

Zep is utilizing roughly $36 million of the ZVC sale proceeds to bolster the cash balance, which improves the company's liquidity and reinvestment capacity. The approximate $47 million pro forma cash balance as well as the $45 million undrawn revolver provides good coverage of the $5.5 million of required annual term loan amortization. Liquidity could weaken as the company utilizes the cash for growth initiatives. The debt repayment also improved headroom under the springing maximum 7.25x first lien-debt-to-EBITDA covenant despite the lost ZVC earnings.

Zep is exposed to environmental risks since it produces hazardous materials that utilize potentially toxic chemicals and petroleum based inputs, as well as other raw materials, energy and water. Investment is necessary to minimize such environmental risks and to protect the labor force from adverse health effects. The company has safety programs in place to protect the environment and the workforce. Such actions increase costs and can reduce manufacturing efficiency that reduce cash flow.

The coronavirus outbreak and the government measures put in place to contain it continue to disrupt economies and credit markets across sectors and regions. Although an economic recovery is underway, it is tenuous, and its continuation will be closely tied to containment of the virus. As a result, there is uncertainty around our forecasts. We regard the coronavirus outbreak as a social risk under its ESG framework, given the substantial implications for public health and safety. Zep experienced increased product demand because of the coronavirus but sales are vulnerable to reductions as that elevated demand moderates.

Moody's views Zep's governance risk as high given its private equity ownership by New Mountain Capital, LLC. Moody's expects an aggressive financial strategy that favors shareholders. Zep's board of directors consists of representatives from its sponsors and management team. Financial disclosures are also more limited than for public companies.

FACTORS THAT COULD LEAD TO AN UPGRADE OR DOWNGRADE OF THE RATINGS

The stable outlook reflects Moody's expectation that Zep will increase revenue and EBITDA, organically and through expansion projects, resulting in debt-to-EBITDA (Moody's adjusted) falling below 8.0x by FY2022. Moody's also expects Zep to maintain adequate liquidity over the next 12-to-18 months.

Moody's could upgrade the ratings if the company is able to mitigate cost pressures as well as grow revenue and earnings with stable margins, sustainably reduce its debt-to-EBITDA (Moody's adjusted) below 7x, and maintain at least adequate liquidity, including positive free cash flow generation.

Moody's could downgrade the ratings if operating performance or liquidity deteriorates, the risk of a distressed exchange or other default increases, or debt recovery prospects weaken.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Consumer Packaged Goods Methodology published in February 2020 and available at https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1202237. Alternatively, please see the Rating Methodologies page on www.moodys.com for a copy of this methodology.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Zep Inc. produces chemical based products including cleaners, degreasers, deodorizers, disinfectants, floor finishes and sanitizers, primarily for business and industrial use. Revenue for the 2021 fiscal year ending August 31, 2021 was $665 million pro forma for the ZVC divestiture. Zep has been owned by private equity firm New Mountain Capital, LLC since 2015.

REGULATORY DISCLOSURES

For further specification of Moody's key rating assumptions and sensitivity analysis, see the sections Methodology Assumptions and Sensitivity to Assumptions in the disclosure form. Moody's Rating Symbols and Definitions can be found at: https://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_79004.

For ratings issued on a program, series, category/class of debt or security this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to each rating of a subsequently issued bond or note of the same series, category/class of debt, security or pursuant to a program for which the ratings are derived exclusively from existing ratings in accordance with Moody's rating practices. For ratings issued on a support provider, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the credit rating action on the support provider and in relation to each particular credit rating action for securities that derive their credit ratings from the support provider's credit rating. For provisional ratings, this announcement provides certain regulatory disclosures in relation to the provisional rating assigned, and in relation to a definitive rating that may be assigned subsequent to the final issuance of the debt, in each case where the transaction structure and terms have not changed prior to the assignment of the definitive rating in a manner that would have affected the rating. For further information please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page for the respective issuer on www.moodys.com.

For any affected securities or rated entities receiving direct credit support from the primary entity(ies) of this credit rating action, and whose ratings may change as a result of this credit rating action, the associated regulatory disclosures will be those of the guarantor entity. Exceptions to this approach exist for the following disclosures, if applicable to jurisdiction: Ancillary Services, Disclosure to rated entity, Disclosure from rated entity.

The ratings have been disclosed to the rated entity or its designated agent(s) and issued with no amendment resulting from that disclosure.

These ratings are solicited. Please refer to Moody's Policy for Designating and Assigning Unsolicited Credit Ratings available on its website www.moodys.com.

Regulatory disclosures contained in this press release apply to the credit rating and, if applicable, the related rating outlook or rating review.

Moody's general principles for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in our credit analysis can be found at http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1288235.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the EU and is endorsed by Moody's Deutschland GmbH, An der Welle 5, Frankfurt am Main 60322, Germany, in accordance with Art.4 paragraph 3 of the Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 on Credit Rating Agencies. Further information on the EU endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

The Global Scale Credit Rating on this Credit Rating Announcement was issued by one of Moody's affiliates outside the UK and is endorsed by Moody's Investors Service Limited, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5FA under the law applicable to credit rating agencies in the UK. Further information on the UK endorsement status and on the Moody's office that issued the credit rating is available on www.moodys.com.

Please see www.moodys.com for any updates on changes to the lead rating analyst and to the Moody's legal entity that has issued the rating.

Please see the ratings tab on the issuer/entity page on www.moodys.com for additional regulatory disclosures for each credit rating.

Dawei Ma
Analyst
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

John E. Puchalla, CFA
Associate Managing Director
Corporate Finance Group
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

Releasing Office:
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
250 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10007
U.S.A.
JOURNALISTS: 1 212 553 0376
Client Service: 1 212 553 1653

No Related Data.
© 2022 Moody’s Corporation, Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., Moody’s Analytics, Inc. and/or their licensors and affiliates (collectively, “MOODY’S”). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S CREDIT RATINGS AFFILIATES ARE THEIR CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND INFORMATION PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S (COLLECTIVELY, “PUBLICATIONS”) MAY INCLUDE SUCH CURRENT OPINIONS. MOODY’S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT OR IMPAIRMENT. SEE APPLICABLE MOODY’S RATING SYMBOLS AND DEFINITIONS PUBLICATION FOR INFORMATION ON THE TYPES OF CONTRACTUAL FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS ADDRESSED BY MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS, NON-CREDIT ASSESSMENTS (“ASSESSMENTS”), AND OTHER OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. MOODY’S PUBLICATIONS MAY ALSO INCLUDE QUANTITATIVE MODEL-BASED ESTIMATES OF CREDIT RISK AND RELATED OPINIONS OR COMMENTARY PUBLISHED BY MOODY’S ANALYTICS, INC. AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES. MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS DO NOT COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY’S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS AND OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLISHES ITS PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL, WITH DUE CARE, MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS, AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY RETAIL INVESTORS AND IT WOULD BE RECKLESS AND INAPPROPRIATE FOR RETAIL INVESTORS TO USE MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS OR PUBLICATIONS WHEN MAKING AN INVESTMENT DECISION. IF IN DOUBT YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR FINANCIAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISER.

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED, DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

MOODY’S CREDIT RATINGS, ASSESSMENTS, OTHER OPINIONS AND PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT INTENDED FOR USE BY ANY PERSON AS A BENCHMARK AS THAT TERM IS DEFINED FOR REGULATORY PURPOSES AND MUST NOT BE USED IN ANY WAY THAT COULD RESULT IN THEM BEING CONSIDERED A BENCHMARK.

All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY’S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided “AS IS” without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY’S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process or in preparing its Publications.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY’S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability to any person or entity for any indirect, special, consequential, or incidental losses or damages whatsoever arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information, even if MOODY’S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers is advised in advance of the possibility of such losses or damages, including but not limited to: (a) any loss of present or prospective profits or (b) any loss or damage arising where the relevant financial instrument is not the subject of a particular credit rating assigned by MOODY’S.

To the extent permitted by law, MOODY’S and its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors and suppliers disclaim liability for any direct or compensatory losses or damages caused to any person or entity, including but not limited to by any negligence (but excluding fraud, willful misconduct or any other type of liability that, for the avoidance of doubt, by law cannot be excluded) on the part of, or any contingency within or beyond the control of, MOODY’S or any of its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, licensors or suppliers, arising from or in connection with the information contained herein or the use of or inability to use any such information.

NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY CREDIT RATING, ASSESSMENT, OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY’S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.

Moody’s Investors Service, Inc., a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody’s Corporation (“MCO”), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,000 to approximately $5,000,000. MCO and Moody’s Investors Service also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of Moody’s Investors Service credit ratings and credit rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold credit ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading “Investor Relations — Corporate Governance — Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy.”

Additional terms for Australia only: Any publication into Australia of this document is pursuant to the Australian Financial Services License of MOODY’S affiliate, Moody’s Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657AFSL 336969 and/or Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd ABN 94 105 136 972 AFSL 383569 (as applicable). This document is intended to be provided only to “wholesale clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY’S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a “wholesale client” and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to “retail clients” within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. MOODY’S credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness of a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors.

Additional terms for Japan only: Moody's Japan K.K. (“MJKK”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly-owned by Moody’s Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO. Moody’s SF Japan K.K. (“MSFJ”) is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of MJKK. MSFJ is not a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (“NRSRO”). Therefore, credit ratings assigned by MSFJ are Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings. Non-NRSRO Credit Ratings are assigned by an entity that is not a NRSRO and, consequently, the rated obligation will not qualify for certain types of treatment under U.S. laws. MJKK and MSFJ are credit rating agencies registered with the Japan Financial Services Agency and their registration numbers are FSA Commissioner (Ratings) No. 2 and 3 respectively.

MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) hereby disclose that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) have, prior to assignment of any credit rating, agreed to pay to MJKK or MSFJ (as applicable) for credit ratings opinions and services rendered by it fees ranging from JPY100,000 to approximately JPY550,000,000.

MJKK and MSFJ also maintain policies and procedures to address Japanese regulatory requirements.

Moodys.com